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China asks India to return its soldier held for straying into Indian territory

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China has demanded the immediate return of its soldier who was apprehended by the Indian Army at the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake in eastern Ladakh after he transgressed into the Indian territory. The soldier was held on Friday.

The development comes at a time when the Indian and Chinese sides are engaged in a nasty border tussle since May 2020 that also resulted in a physical clash between the two armies.

This is the second time in the past three months that a Chinese soldier transgressed into the Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control.

On October 19, 2020, Indian troops had captured a Chinese soldier after he “strayed” across the LAC in the Demchok sector of Ladakh. Corporal Wang Ya Long of the PLA was handed back to China at Chushul-Moldo border point in eastern Ladakh following laid down protocols.

China confirmed

In Beijing, the Chinese military confirmed that one of its soldiers “went astray” along the China-India border areas.

“Due to darkness and complicated geography, a soldier of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army frontier defence force went astray in the China-India border early Friday morning,” China military online, an official website of the PLA said.

“The PLA frontier defence force notified the Indian side of the information the first time, hoping the Indian side could assist in search and rescue of the lost Chinese soldier,” it said.

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“Nearly two hours later, the response from the Indian side came, confirming that the missing soldier had been found and would be returned to the Chinese side after receiving instructions from the superior authority,” it said.

“The Indian side should strictly adhere to relevant agreements reached by the two countries and waste no time to return the lost soldier to the Chinese side, so as to add positive factors for de-escalating the border tensions between the two countries and jointly maintaining peace and tranquillity in the China-India border areas,” it said.

China and India are working on the situation of a Chinese soldier who lost his way in the China-India border area, state-run the Global Times quoted official sources as saying.

India investigating

In a statement, the Indian Army said, “The PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in this area. Troops from either side are deployed along the LAC since friction erupted last year due to unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration by Chinese troops.”

“The PLA soldier is being dealt with as per laid down procedures and circumstances under which he had crossed the LAC are being investigated,” it said.

 

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